98% of scientists agree now: Climate change is real, and it’s affecting us faster than anyone projected. What does this mean? It means that we need to fix this problem ASAP. But how? Well, for one, we need to start teaching our children about it. Our children are our future right? If anyone is going to reverse the effects previous generations have had on the environment, it’s going to be the youngest generation.
In the Classroom
If you live in the South, you’re probably familiar with the creationist, unscientific approach to science and history courses. If we’re going to help our children create a better world in the future, how can they do that without us showing them the science? Even if you are a “creationist,” or you agree with the school curriculum, you still need to advocate that some pieces about climate change are taught.
In the Home
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your children to be active and supporting members of society, right? So why would you teach them to waste resources like water, gas, plastic, etc.? Why wouldn’t you show them to use reusable items, drive a more efficient car, waste less energy? If a child is raised in the “traditional” American home, odds are he or she will be creating 200+ lbs of trash a year (yes, per child). If we want to help reverse climate change, it starts with what we show our children.
When the youngest generation goes to college, the likelihood that he or she will have much more access to “green” careers is much higher than now. But in order to set these kids up for success in careers that can help fix or reverse the damage caused by climate change, they need to have access to continuing education. Encouraging universities and colleges to promote climate change resources and knowledge will mean that more and more future graduates will have access to the information. It doesn’t end in elementary school.
If you’re a parent, you know that your child mimics your behavior, your manner of speaking, and your temperament. What if you drove an SUV 3 hours a day to get to work, threw away everything (regardless of whether it could be recycled or not), and neglected to care about the ever-changing world around you? Your child would grow up thinking that was the norm. What if you, instead, you taught your child to recycle or reuse, taught him or her to walk to school instead of drive, and helped create an environment where your child actually cared about the resources he or she consumed? The child would grow up to have greater respect for the world around him or her, and be much more receptive to climate change reversal efforts. But it starts with you, and it must start now. Climate change is real, it’s happening, and it’s going to affect your children, and their children after them.